Designer Q & A
Over the last few months I have done several interviews about myself and my Guipurean label. So this month I have decided to share some of those Q&A’s so all you lovely brides can get an insight into the designer side of Guipurean.
From the beginning – How and when was GUIPUREAN born?
Guipurean began about 7 years ago. After completing my design studies I began working in the industry. Having an unwavering obsession to create and design, I also registered my business name and trademarked my logo. The logo I personally created, developed to reflect my love of Guipure lace and a fascination with ancient cultures. I wanted a name and symbol that was unique, mysterious and beautiful to look at, and so the label Guipurean was born.
I pattern made and sewed sample gowns in my spare time. I also started making gowns for friends’ weddings and family members wanting a gown for a special event, while also selling a few pieces of ready to wear clothing through boutique stores.
Over time I learnt the trade, worked with various machinist and patternmakers, experimented with embroidery and appliqué, sourced as many textile suppliers as I could, and constantly kept designing gowns so that one day I would have a large source to go back and turn into reality.
It was not until 2016 I decided to completely commit and invest everything I have learnt into creating a full sample collection of gowns, learning so much as I went.
I relocated to a design studio where I could work directly with a small team who I had known for years prior. The main focus for me with Guipurean was to craft gowns that have soul, to offer works of art made with detailed attention, created with unique and beautiful textiles and custom embroideries that endure the test of time.
What can GUIPUREAN offer a bride to-be for her wedding day?
The opportunity for a bride to make an impact, to be confident and a stand out, knowing she is dressed in something unique made just for her and assimilates with her personality and style.
Did you always know that you wanted to design bridal gowns?
I always knew I wanted to design fashion; I enjoyed the hands-on approach and tactility of the industry. My fascination bordering on obsession for lace, embroideries and high-end textiles led me to become a bridal designer, where I knew that whatever I created, it would be made for a purpose and cherished by the wearer, not disposed of like so much fast fashion or cheap, factory made gowns.
How do you create your bridal collection?
I always start with the fabrics – laces, silks, jacquard’s, beaded as they will most often than not determine what shape and finish can be achieved. A gown is always more successful when worked with the fabrics than trying to create something the fabric just does not want to do.
I always look through Pins and magazines for inspirations, though I find inspiration comes from everywhere, the natural world, movies, history, ancient cultures.
One of the key aspects when designing is team work. I discuss the designs with my team and then start creating the patterns, testing through the development and, once approved in fit and design, we move onto the real gown which at this point I design any special embroideries or appliqués that I feel would enhance the design, something unique to give the gown a distinct edge.
Even as we sample, we constantly have to check and evaluate as not everything works first go and it’s definitely a process that cannot be rushed.
When developing collections I always try to ensure there is a good mix of styles – strapless, v neck, scoop neck, flair, ball gown etc – so the bride can get a good idea of various shapes on their body. As we are a bridal studio and not a boutique, we offer a high level of customised options for our samples, so if a bride likes a lace but prefers a different neck line, then we are able to offer those choices. It’s something I really take great pride in, the flexibility for brides to have their dream gown.
What keeps you inspired?
I love seeing a gown come to life from a sketch to reality. To me, creating a gown is like a work of art, a very hands-on process to create something beautiful and tactile.
The combination of sheer obsession for lace and textiles with my overactive imagination and perfectionism ensures I am always inspired and ready to design and create.
Do you have a favourite trend?
I don’t have a favourite trend, mainly because I personally have never really followed trends. I am more of the belief a bride should wear what suits her and not what is dictated to her by popularity and social media. A bride will always look spectacular if she dresses for her shape and personality.
What advice would you offer to a bride that is just starting out on their search for the perfect wedding dress?
First, decide on a budget, then research the various options to look for a gown – retail store, designer or perhaps attend a bridal event where you can talk toa designer upfront before starting to try on anything.
Select a few boutiques/ designers that you like the look of in style and make an appointment to try on a few different styles. Don’t rule anything out before trying, but know your shape and what will be realistic and work with your body type. What you see online does not always translate well to a real bride’s figure in real life.
After trying on a few styles, take time to think about what you liked or did not, whether off the rack or made to order will work for you, or budget allowing, a custom gown instead to ensure you get what you are after and to the fit of your body. It’s also very important that you feel comfortable with the designer or retailer, as you will be spending a lot of time with them over the course of the 6 to 10 month period.
Most importantly, don’t settle for something you think is merely nice or “will do”. Make sure you LOVE IT!
Do you have a favourite style?
So hard, I love so many styles, though I do tend to opt for the more unique and unusual. One of my favourites from my range would be Nike – she is a bit non-traditional and features a non-floral lace and custom appliqué of beaded wings which I loved designing. A modern day goddess.
What is the best part about what you do?
Having a bride put her full trust and confidence in me to create her special gown is a true honour. It is topped only by seeing her in one of my creations, smiling, confident and stunning. And of course, where I have been fortunate enough to attend the ceremony, seeing the reactions from the guests as she makes her entrance is priceless.
What are the plans for Guipurean?
There are so many! To continue to design and develop gowns that encapsulate my love of textiles and in the process also aim to inspire brides to look beyond stereotypical and convention and encourage them not be afraid to wear something they really love.
I would also really love to do more collaborations for shoots and events. It’s always so inspiring and positive to work among other creatives who are super talented in their field.
Long term, I would love to see Guipurean become a label that is the go-to for brides looking for the creative, unique and inspiring, to be the go-to for a wedding dress that makes an impact.